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American Samoa


PREAMBLE


Whereas the Congress of the United States, in its Act of February ۲۰, ۱۹۲۹, provided that until the Congress shall provide for the Govern­ment of the islands of American Samoa, all civil, judicial, and military powers shall be vested in such person or persons and exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall direct; and

Whereas by Executive Order No. ۱۰۲۶۴ the President of the United States directed that the Secretary of the Interior should take such action as may be necessary and. appropriate and in harmony with applicable law, for the administration of civil government in American Samoa; and

Whereas it is appropriate that, in the process of developing self-government, the people of American Samoa should enjoy certain rights and responsibilities inherent in the representative form of government; and

Whereas it is desirable that these rights and responsibilities be clearly set forth in a Constitution, and the adoption of a Constitution is in harmony with applicable law; and

Whereas the Constitution adopted in ۱۹۶۰ pro­vided for a revision thereof:

Now, therefore, this revised Constitution, having been ratified and approved by the Secretary of the Interior and having been approved by a Constitutional Convention of the people of American Samoa and a majority of the voters of American Samoa voting at the ۱۹۶۶, election, is established to further advance government of the people, by the people, and for the people of American Samoa.



Article I

Bill of Rights


Section ۱: Freedom of religion, speech, press, rights of assembly and petition.

There shall be separation of church and government, and no law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise there­of; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Section ۲: No deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process.

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensa­tion.

Amendments: ۱۹۶۷ Section formerly provided for payment of compensation “before” the taking of property and for reversion to owner after ۳ years of non-user. H.C.R. No. ۴۵, ۱۰th Leg. ۱st Spec. Sess., requested Secty. of Int. to revise the section to its present form. This was done at the time of ratification and approval on June ۲, ۱۹۶۷.


Section ۳: Policy protective legislation.

It shall be the policy of the Government of Amer­ican Samoa to protect persons of Samoan ancestry against alienation of their lands and the destruction of the Samoan way of life and language, contrary to their best interests. Such legislation as may be necessary may be enacted to protect the lands, customs, culture, and tradi­tional Samoan family organization of persons of Samoan ancestry, and to encourage business enterprises by such persons. No change in the law respecting the alienation or transfer of land or any interest therein shall be effective unless the same be approved by two successive legislatures by a two-thirds vote of the entire member­ship of each house and by the Governor.


Section ۴: Dignity of the individual.

The dignity of the individual shall be respected and every person is entitled to protection of the law against malicious and unjustifiable public attacks on the name, reputation, or honor of himself or of his family.


Section ۵: Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describ­ing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Evidence obtained in violation of this section shall not be admitted in any court.


Section ۶: Rights of an accused.

No person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; and the failure of the accused to testify shall not be commented upon nor taken against him. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation and to have a copy thereof; to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for ob­taining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence. Every man is presumed innocent until he is pronounced guilty by law, and no act of severity which is not reasonably necessary to secure the arrest of an accused person shall be permitted. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties except where the judicial authorities shall determine that the presumption is great that an infamous crime, which term shall include murder and rape, has been committed and that the granting of bail would constitute a danger to the com­munity. Bail shall be set by such judicial author­ities. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor ex­cessive fines imposed nor cruel or unusual pun­ishments inflicted.


Section ۷: Habeas corpus.

The writ of habeas corpus shall be granted without delay and free of costs. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except by the Governor and then only when the public safety requires it in case of war, rebellion, insurrection or invasion.


Section ۸: Quartering of militia.

No soldier or member of the militia shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner or the lawful occupant, nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law. The military authority shall always be subordin­ate to the civil authority in time of peace.


Section ۹: Imprisonment for debt.

There shall be no imprisonment for debt except in cases of fraud.


Section ۱۰: Slavery prohibited.

Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in Ameri­can Samoa.


Section ۱۱: Treason.

Treason against the Government of American Samoa shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or a confession in open court.


Section ۱۲: Subversives ineligible to hold public office.

No person who advocates, or who aids or belongs to any party, organization, or association which advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the Government of Ameri­can Samoa or of the United States shall be qualified to hold any public office of trust or profit under the Government of American Samoa.


Section ۱۳: Retroactive laws and bills of attainder.

No bill of attainder, ex post facto law. nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.


Section ۱۴: Health, safety, morals and general welfare.

Laws may be enacted for the protection of the health, safety, morals and general welfare, of the people of American Samoa.


Section ۱۵: Education.

The Government shall operate a system of free and non-sectarian public education. The government will also en­courage qualified persons of good character to acquire further education, locally and abroad, both general and technical, and thereafter to re­turn to American Samoa to the end that the people thereof may be benefited.


Section ۱۶: Unspecified rights and privileges and immunities.

The enumeration of certain rights in this Constitution shall not be construed to impair or deny other rights retained by the people. No law shall be made or enforced which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of American Samoa.



Article II

The Legislature


Section I: Legislature.

There shall be a Legis­lature which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. The Legislature shall have authority to pass legislation with respect to sub­jects of local application, except that:

No such legislation may be inconsistent with, this Constitution or the laws of the United States applicable in American Samoa;

No such legislation may conflict with treaties or international agreements of the United States;

Money bills enacted by the Legislature of American Samoa shall not provide for the appro­priation of funds in excess of such amounts as are available from revenues raised pursuant to the tax laws and other revenue laws of American Samoa. Prior to his final submission to the Secretary of the Interior of requests for Federal funds necessary for the support of governmental functions in American Samoa. the Governor shall prepare a preliminary budget plan. He shall submit such plan to the Legislature in joint session for its review and approval with respect to such portions as relate to expenditures of funds proposed to be appropriated by the Congress of the United States. Amended ۱۹۷۱, S.J.R. No.۴, effective March ۱۹, ۱۹۷۱.

Legislation involving the expenditure of funds other than as budgeted shall include revenue measures to provide the needed funds.

Amendments: ۱۹۷۱ SJ.R. No. ۴, ۱۱th Leg. ۲nd Reg. Sess., in paragraph (c), at end of the sentence, deleted the words “but excluding therefrom such income as is derived from user charges or service related reimbursements to the Government of American Samoa which is segregated for the use of the activity to which such charges or reimbursements are related”; in present last sentence the word “approval” following “review and” was substituted for the word “recommendation”; the former last sentence was deleted, it read: “With respect to such portions of the preliminary budget plan, the Governor shall adopt such recommendations of the Legislature as he may deem appro­priate, but he shall transmit to the Secretary all recommenda­tions he has not adopted”.

Section ۲: Membership

The Senate shall consist of eighteen members, three from the Manu’a District, six from the Western District, and nine from the Eastern District.

The House of Representatives shall consist of twenty members elected from the following repre­sentative districts, the number of representatives from each of the districts to be as indicated:


Representative District No. ۱, composed of Ta’u, Fitiuta and Faleasao,)

two representatives;

Representative District No. ۲, composed of Ofu, Olosega and Sili,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۳, Vaifanua — composed of the Villages of Alao, Aoa, Onenoa, Tula and Vatia,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۴, Saole — composed of the Villages of Aunuu, Amouli, Utumea and Alofau, )

one representative;

Representative District No. ۵, Sua No. ۱ — composed of the Villages of Fagaitua, Amaua, Auto, Avaio, Alega, Aumi and Laulii,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۶, Sua No. ۲ — composed of the Villages of Sailele, Masausi, Masefau and Afono,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۷, Ma’uputasi No. ۱ — composed of the Villages of Fatumafuti, Fagaalu and Utulei)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۸, Ma’uputasi No. ۲ — composed of the Village of Fagatogo,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۹, Ma’uputasi No. ۳ — composed of the Village of Pago Pago,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۱۰, Ma’uputasi No. ۴ — composed of the Villages of Satala, Atuu and Leloaloa, )

one representative;

Representative District No. ۱۱, Ma’uputasi No. ۵ — composed of the Village of Aua,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۱۲, Ituau — composed of the Villages of Nu’uuli Fagasa, Matuu and Faganeanea,)

two representatives;


Representative District No. ۱۳, Fofo — composed of the Villages of Leone and Auma,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۱۴, Lealataua — composed of the Villages of Fagamalo, Fagalii, Poloa, Amanave, Failolo, Agagulu Seetaga, Nua, Atauloma, Afao, Amaluia and Asili,)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۱۵, Ma’upu — composed of the Villages of Tafuna, Mesepa; Faleniu, Mapusaga Fou, Pavaiai, lull and Vaitogi,)

two representatives;


Representative District No. ۱۶, Tualatai- composed of the Villages of Futiga, Ituau(Malaeloa), Taputimu and Vailoatai)

one representative;

Representative District No. ۱۷, Leasina — composed of the Villages of Aitulagi (Malaeloa), Aoloau and Asu.)

one representative;


Senators and representatives shall be reapportioned by law at intervals of not less than ۵ years.

The adult permanent residents of Swains Island who are United States nationals may elect at an open meeting a delegate to the House of Representatives who shall have all the privileges of a member of the House except the right to vote.


Section ۳: Qualifications of members.

A Senator shall;

be a United States National;

be at least ۳۰ years of age at the time of his election;

have lived in American Samoa at least ۵ years and have been a bona fide resident thereof for at least ۱ year next preceding his election; and

be the registered matai of a Samoan family who fulfills his obligations as required by Samoan custom in the county from which he is elected.

A Representative shall;

be a United States National;

be at least ۲۵ years of age at the time of his election; and

have lived in American Samoa for a total of at least ۵ years and have been a bona fide resident of the representative district from which he is elected for at least ۱ year next pre­ceding his election.

A delegate from Swains Island shall have the qualifications of a Representative except that in lieu of residence in a representative district, he shall have been a bona fide resident of Swains Island for at least one year next preceding his election.

No person who shall have been expelled from the Legislature for giving or receiving a bribe or being an accessory thereto, and no person who shall have been convicted of a felony under the ۱aws of American Samoa, the United States, or the laws of any state of the United States, shall sit in the Legislature, unless the person so con­victed shall have been pardoned and have had his civil rights restored to him.

No employee or public officer of the Govern­ment shall be eligible to serve in the Legislature while holding such position. The prohibition contained herein shall become effective on July ۱, ۱۹۷۱. Amended ۱۹۷۱, S.J.R. No.۳, approved by Secretary of the Interior, March ۱۹, ۱۹۷۱.

Amendments: ۱۹۷۱ S.J.R. No. ۳, ۱۱th Leg. ۲nd Reg. Sess., amended last paragraph generally by changing former references to specific government positions to present language covering all employees or public officers.


Section ۴: Manner of election.

Senators shall be elected in accordance with Samoan custom by the county councils of the counties they are to represent, the number of senators from a county or counties to be as indicated: Fitiuta, Faleasao and Ta’u, two senators; Olosega and Ofu, one senator; Saole, one senator; Vaifanua, one senator; Sua, two senators; Ma’uputasi, three senators; Ituau, two senators; Ma’upu, two senators; Leasina, one senator; Tualatai, one senator; Fofo, one senator; and Lealataua, one senator. The decisions of the members of the county councils of the counties concerned shall be certified by the county chiefs of such counties.

Representatives shall be chosen by secret ballot of the qualified electors of their respective representative districts.


Section ۵: Elections

Elections shall be held biennially in each even numbered year beginning on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November and ending not later than ۴ weeks thereafter.


Section ۶: Term of office

Each senator shall hold office for a term of four years. Representa­tives including any delegates from Swains Island shall each hold office for a term of two years. The terms of all members of the Legislature including any delegate from Swains Island shall commence at noon on the third day of January following their election, except as otherwise provided.


Section ۷: Qualifications of electors.

Every person of the age of ۱۸ years or upwards who is a United States national and who has lived in American Samoa for a total of at least two years and has been a bona fide resident of the election district where he offers to vote for at least one year next preceding the election and who meets such registration requirements as may be pre­scribed by law shall be deemed a qualified elec­tor at such election. No person under guardianship, non compos mentis, or insane shall be qualified to vote at any election; nor shall any person who has been convicted of a felony be qualified to vote at any election unless he has had his civil rights previously restored to him or unless he has maintained good behavior for ۲ years following the date of his conviction or his release from prison whichever is the later.


Section ۸: Legislative sessions

There shall be two regular sessions of the Legislature held each year, each session to last ۴۵ days, the first session to begin on the second Monday in Janu­ary each year and the second session to begin on the second Monday in July of each year. The Legislature may meet in special session at the call of the Governor who shall set the time for the beginning of such session and the number of days it may last. Amended H.J.R. No. ۱, adopted Feb. ۱۸, ۱۹۷۷, approved by voters Nov. ۷, ۱۹۷۸, approved by Sec. of Int. Mar. ۱, ۱۹۷۹; amended ۱۹۷۱ S.J.R. No. ۳, effective March ۱۹, ۱۹۷۱.

Amendments: ۱۹۷۹ Changed length of sessions from ۳۰ to ۴۵ days.

۱۹۷۱ S.J.R. No. ۵. ۱۱th Leg. ۲nd Reg.. Sess., substituted present two ۳۰ day sessions for former annual ۴۰ day session com­mencing on the ۲nd Monday in February.


Section ۹: Enactment of law; vetoes.

The enacting clause of all bills shall be: “Be it enacted by the Legislature of American Samoa,” and no law shall be enacted except by bill. Bills may originate in either House, and may be amended or rejected by the other. The Governor may submit proposed legislation to the Legisla­ture for consideration by it. He may designate any such proposed legislation is urgent, if he so considers it.

Every bill, having passed both Houses, shall be signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, and shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor for his approval. If he approves it, he shall sign it and it shall become a law, and he shall deposit it in the office of the Secretary of American Samoa. But if it be not approved by him, he shall return it with his objections to the House in which it originated which shall enter the same in their journal: Any bill not returned by the Governor within ۱۰ days (Sundays excepted) after having been presented to him, shall become a law, whether signed by him or not, unless the Legislature by adjournment prevent such return, in which case it shall not become a law unless the Governor, within ۳۰ days after adjournment shall sign it, in which case it shall become a law in like manner as if it had been signed by him before adjournment; and the Governor shall deposit it in the office of the Secretary of American Samoa.

Not later than ۱۴ months after a bill has been vetoed by the Governor, it may be passed over his veto by a two-thirds majority of the entire membership of each House at any session of the Legislature, regular or special. A bill so repassed shall be represented to the Governor for his approval. If he does not approve- it within ۱۵ days, he shall send it together with his comment thereon to the Secretary of the Interior. If the Secretary of the Interior approves it within ۹۰ days after its receipt by him, it shall become a law; otherwise it shall not.

If a bill presented to the Governor should contain several items of appropriation of money, he may object to one or more of such items, or any part or parts thereof, portion or portions thereof, while approving the other items, parts, or portions of the bill. In such a case he shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the items, or parts or portions thereof, to which he objects and the items, or parts or portions thereof, so objected to shall not take effect. As used in this paragraph, the terms “items”, “part”, “portion” and “portions” shall include a proviso or provisos, a directive, a limitation, or other extraneous substantive legislation included in an appropriations bill or appended to any item of appropriation in such an appropriations bill.

Furthermore, nothing in this section shall be deemed to permit any change in the law respec­ting the alienation or transfer of land or any interest therein to be effective unless such change shall have been approved by two successive Legislatures by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of each House and by the Governor as provided in Section ۳ of Article I.


Section ۱۰: Passage of bills.

A majority of all the members of each House, voting in the affirmative, shall be necessary to pass any bill or joint resolution.


Section ۱۱: Powers of each house.

Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same, determine its rules of pro­cedure, punish members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two-thirds of its entire membership, may expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense. Each House shall sit upon its own adjournments, but neither House shall, without the concurrence of the other, adjourn for more than ۳ days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting.


Section ۱۲: Freedom from arrest.

Senators and representatives and any delegate from Swains Island in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during a session (including a special joint session) of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same. No member of the Legislature shall be held to answer before any tribunal other than the Legislature itself for any speech or debate in the Legislature.


Section ۱۳: Vacancies

When vacancies occur in either house, the Governor or the person exercising the functions of Governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies except that if any such vacancy shall occur within three months of the next regular election, no special election shall be held and the Governor shall appoint a qualified person to fill such vacancy. Prior to appointing such person, the Governor shall in the case of a representative consult with the county chief or county chiefs in the representative district concerned; and in the case of a senator, with the District Governor and county chiefs in the district concerned. A person elected to fill a vacancy or appointed by the Governor to fill a vacancy shall hold office dur­ing the remainder of the term of his predecessor.


Section ۱۴: Public sessions

The business of each House, and of the Committee of the Whole, shall be transacted openly and not in secret session.


Section ۱۵: Reading — Passage of bills

No bill shall be passed until copies of the same with amendments thereto shall have been made avail­able for the use of the members; nor shall a bill become a law unless the same shall have been read on two separate days in each House previous to the day of the final vote thereon. On final passage of all bills, they shall be read at length, section by section, and the votes shall be by yeas and nays upon each bill separately, and shall be entered upon the journal. The provisions of this section respecting the reading of bills shall be subject to the exception that a bill which has been vetoed by the Governor and reintroduced for passage over the Governor’s veto need only be read on the day of the final vote thereon.


Section ۱۶: Title

Every legislative act shall embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith, which shall be expressed in the title; but if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such an act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be expressed in the title.


Section ۱۷: Amendments and revisions by reference

No law shall be amended or revised by reference to its title only; but in such case the act, as revised, or section or subsection as amended, shall be reenacted and published at full length.


Section ۱۸: Appointment to new offices

No member of the Legislature shall, during the term for which he was elected and for one year there­after, be appointed to any office which shall have been created or the salary of which shall have been increased by the Legislature during such term.


Section ۱۹: Effective date of laws

An act of the Legislature required to be approved and ap­proved by the Governor only shall take effect no-sooner than ۶۰ days from the end of the session at which the same shall have been passed while an act required to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior only after its veto by the Governor and so approved shall take effect no sooner than ۴۰ days after its return to the Governor by the Secretary of the Interior. The foregoing is subject to the exception that in case of an emergency the act may take effect at an earlier date stated in the act provided that the emergency be declared in the preamble and in the body of the act.


Section ۲۰: Legislative counsel

A legislative counsel, who shall be learned in the law, shall be appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, to advise and assist the Legislature. The position of legislative counsel shall be a fulltime position and compen­sation for the counsel shall be budgeted by the Legislature at a grade level equivalent to that of Deputy Attorney General of the Government of American Samoa. The legislative counsel shall also be the director of the Legislative Reference Bureau. Amended H.J.R. No. ۳, Feb. ۱۸, ۱۹۷۷, approved by voters Nov. ۷, ۱۹۷۸, approved by Sec. of Int. Mar. ۱, ۱۹۷۹.

Amendments: ۱۹۷۹ Changed manner of appointment of the counsel and changed grade level.


Section ۲۱: Quorum

A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum for the trans­action of business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner as each House may provide.


Section ۲۲: Qualifications and officers

Each House of the Legislature shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members and shall chuse its officers.


Section ۲۳: Adjourning legislature

In case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor shall have power to adjourn the Legis­lature to such time as he may think proper: but no such adjournment shall be beyond the time fixed for the next regular session of the Legis­lature.


Section ۲۴: Special or exclusive privileges not to be granted; local or special laws

The power of the Government to act for the general welfare of the people of American Samoa shall never be impaired by the making of any irrevocable grant of special or exclusive privileges or immunities. Corporations may be formed under general laws but shall not be created by special act except for municipal, governmental, or quasigovernmental purposes in cases where the objects of the cor­poration cannot be attained under general laws. All general laws or special acts passed pursuant to this section may be amended or repealed. The Legislature shall pass no local or special act if a general act can be made applicable.


Section ۲۵: Compensation of the legislature

The compensation of the members of the Legis­lature is provided by law. — Amended ۱۹۷۷. H.J.R. No. ۶. eff. April ۸, ۱۹۷۷.

Amendments: ۱۹۷۱ S.J.R. No. ۴, ۱۱th Leg. ۲nd Reg. Sess., amended section generally and increased the annual legislative pay to ۳۶.۰۰۰.۰۰.



Article III

Judicial Branch


Section ۱: Judicial power

The judicial power shall be vested in the High Court, the District Courts, and such other courts as may from time to time be created by law.


Section ۲: Independence of the courts

The judicial branch of the Government of American Samoa shall be independent of the executive and legislative branches.


Section ۳: Appointments

The Secretary of the Interior shall appoint a Chief Justice of American Samoa and such Associate Justices as he may deem necessary.



Article IV

Executive Branch


Section ۱

Superseded by U.S. Dept. of the Int. Secretary’s Order No. ۳۰۰۹, §§ ۲ and ۴, Sept. ۱۳, ۱۹۷۷, eff. Sept. ۱۳, ۱۹۷۷, as amended in § ۲ by U.S. Dept. of the Int. Secretary’s Order No. ۳۰۰۹, Amend­ment No. ۱, Nov. ۳, ۱۹۷۷, eff. Nov. ۳, ۱۹۷۷.


Section ۲: Governor and lieutenant governor

The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa shall, commencing with the first Tuesday following the first Monday of Nov­ember ۱۹۷۷, be popularly elected and serve in accordance with the laws of American Samoa.

Amended ۱۹۷۷, U.S. Dept. of the Int. Secretary’s Order No. ۳۰۰۹, §§ ۲, ۴, Sept. ۱۳. ۱۹۷۷, as amended by U.S. Dept. of the Int. Sec­retary’s Order No. ۳۰۰۹, Amendment No. ۱. Nov. ۳, ۱۹۷۷. eff. Nov. ۳, ۱۹۷۷.

Amendments: ۱۹۷۷ U.S. Dept. of the Int. Secretary’s Order No. ۳۰۰۹, §§ ۲ and ۴, Sept. ۱۳. ۱۹۷۷. amended this section to read “The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa shall, commencing with the first Tuesday in Novem­ber, ۱۹۷۷, be popularly elected and serve in accordance with the laws of American Samoa.”

U.S. Dept. of the Int. Secretary’s Order No. ۳۰۰۹, Amend­ment No. ۱, Nov. ۳. ۱۹۷۷, amended Order No. ۳۰۰۹, § ۲. effective Nov. ۳, ۱۹۷۷. by substituting “following the first Monday of” for the word “in” preceding “November ۱۹۷۷”.


Section ۳: Secretary

The Secretary of American Samoa, who may be referred to as Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa, shall have all the powers and duties of the Governor in the case of a vacancy in the office of Governor or the disability or temporary absence of the Governor. He shall record and preserve the laws and executive orders, and transmit copies thereof to the Secretary of the Interior. He shall have and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law or assigned to him by the Governor.


Section ۴: Secretary of Samoan affairs

The Secretary of Samoan Affairs shall be appointed by the Governor from among the leading registered matais. He shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary of Samoan Affairs shall be the head of the Depart­ment of Local Government. In conjunction with the District Governors he shall co-ordinate the administration of the district, county, and village affairs as provided by law and also in con­junction with the District Governors he shall supervise all ceremonial functions as provided by law.


Section ۵: Militia and posse comitatus

The Governor may summon the posse comitatus or call out the militia to prevent or suppress violence, invasion, insurrection, or rebellion.


Section ۶: Executive regulations

The Governor shall have the power to issue executive regulations not in conflict with laws of the United States applicable to American Samoa, laws of American Samoa, or with this Constitu­tion.


Section ۷: Supervision and control by Governor

The Governor shall have general supervision and control of all executive departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the Government of American Samoa.


Section ۸: Annual report

The Governor shall make an official report of the transactions of the Government of American Samoa to the Secre­tary of the Interior and the Legislature within three months after the close of each fiscal year.


Section ۹: Pardoning power

The Governor shall have the power to remit fines and for­feitures, commute sentences, and grant reprieves and pardons after conviction for offenses against the laws of American Samoa.


Section ۱۰: Recommendation of laws

The Governor shall give the Legislature information on the state of the Government and recommend for its consideration such measures as he may deem necessary and expedient. He may attend or depute another person to represent him at the meetings of the Legislature, and may give expression to his views on any matter before that body.


Section ۱۱: Appointment of officials

With the exception of elective officials, those appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, and those whose appointments are otherwise provided for, the officials of the Government of American Samoa including district, county, and village officials shall be appointed by the Gov­ernor. Prior to appointing a district governor, a county chief, or a pulenuu, the Governor through the Secretary of Samoan Affairs shall request the recommendation of the appropriate district council as to who shall be appointed in the case of a district governor; of the appropri­ate county council and district governor, in the case of a county chief; and of the appropriate village council, district governor and county chief, in the case of a pulenuu. The Secretary of Samoan Affairs may also make his own recommendations to the Governor,


Section ۱۲: Removal of officers; powers and duties of officers

The Governor may appoint or remove any officer whose appointment is not otherwise provided for. All officers shall have such powers and duties as may be conferred or imposed upon them by law or by executive regu­lation of the Governor not inconsistent with any law.


Section ۱۳: Publication of laws

The Governor shall make provision for publishing laws within ۵۵ days after the close of each session of the Legislature and for their distribution to public officials and sale to the public.



Article V

Miscellaneous


Section ۱: Officers

For the public con­venience and to insure continuity in the operation of the Government all officers of American Samoa, including district, county, and village officers, shall, subject to the right of resignation or removal as may be provided by law, continue to hold their respective offices until the expira­tion of the time for which they were respec­tively elected or appointed, except that senators elected at the general election in ۱۹۶۶ shall go out of office at noon on January ۳, ۱۹۶۹.

Regardless of any other provision or provi­sions in this Constitution the House of Repre­sentatives shall, prior to noon, January ۳, ۱۹۶۹, consist only of those members elected at the general election in ۱۹۶۶ while the Senate prior to noon January ۳,۱۹۶۹, shall consist only of the hold-over senators plus those elected at the general election in ۱۹۶۶. Also regardless of any other provision or provisions in this Constitu­tion any vacancies occurring in either House prior to January ۳,۱۹۶۹ may be filled as provided in Article II, Section ۱۳ of the Constitution which became effective on October ۱۷, ۱۹۶۰.


Section ۲: Existing laws

All laws of American Samoa not inconsistent with this Constitution shall continue in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are altered or repealed by competent authority.


Section ۳: Amendments

Any amendment to this Constitution may be proposed in either House of the Legislature, and if the same be agreed to by three-fifths of all members of each House, voting separately, such proposed amendment shall be entered on the journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon. The Gov­ernor shall then be requested to submit such proposed amendment to the voters eligible to vote for members of the House of Representa­tives at the next general election. If a majority of such voters voting approve such amendment, the Governor shall, within ۳۰ days after such approval shall have been officially determined submit the same to the Secretary of the Interior for approval or disapproval within ۴ months after its receipt.


Section ۴: Revision of the constitution

In view of the changing conditions in American Samoa, the Governor shall appoint a new Con­stitutional Committee five years after the effec­tive date of this Constitution to prepare amend­ments or a revised draft constitution to be sub­mitted to the Governor who shall call a constitu­tional convention to consider the same. The delegates to the convention shall be selected by their respective county councils. The number of delegates from each county shall be the number obtained by dividing the population of the county, as shown by the last preceding Federal census, by ۴۰۰, any fraction in the quotient obtained to be disregarded if such fraction shall be less than one-half and if such fraction shall be one-half or more it shall be considered to be one unit, provided that each county shall have at least one delegate, and provided further that Swains Island shall have one delegate selected in open meeting by the adult permanent resi­dents of the island who are United States na­tionals. If the convention approves such amendments or draft constitution either with changes made therein by the convention or with­out changes, the same as approved shall be sub­mitted by the Governor to the voters eligible to vote for members of the House of Represen­tatives at the next general election; and if a majority of the voters voting approve the amendments or proposed revised constitution, the Governor shall submit the same to the Sec­retary of the Interior for his approval, and if he approves the same, then the amendments shall become part of the Constitution or the proposed revised constitution shall replace this constitution, as the case may be. Salaries of employees of the Convention and per diem for delegates shall be provided by law. The Government shall furnish the Convention with necessary supplies and other necessary services.


Section ۵: Existing rights and liabilities

Except as otherwise provided in this Constitu­tion all existing actions, writs, suits, proceedings, civil or criminal liabilities, prosecutions, judg­ments, decrees, sentences, orders, appeals, causes of action, contracts, claims, demands, titles, and rights shall continue unaffected notwithstand­ing the taking effect of this Constitution.


Section ۶: Oaths

All officers of American Samoa including district, county, and village officers, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath: “I, ____________, of_________ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, and that I will well and faithfully uphold the laws of the United States applicable to American Samoa, and the Constitution and laws of American Samoa. “So help me God.”


Section ۷: Construction

In this Constitution titles shall not be used for the purposes of con­struction and wherever any personal pronoun appears it shall be construed to mean either sex; also in this Constitution a special or particular provision shall control a general provision should there be any inconsistency between a special or particular provision and a general provision.


Section ۸: Provisions self-executing

The pro­visions of this Constitution shall be self-executing to the fullest extent that their respec­tive natures permit.


Section ۹: Seat of government

The seat of Government shall be at Fagatogo.


Section ۱۰: Political districts and counties

It is hereby recognized that there are three political districts in American Samoa, viz. Manu'a, composed of the political counties of Ta’u, Faleasao, Fitiuta, Olosega and Ofu; Eastern, composed of the political counties of Sua, Vaifanua, Saole, Ituau and Ma’uputasi; and Western, composed of the political counties of Fofo, Leasina, Tualatai, Lealataua and Ma’upu.


Section ۱۱: Effective date

This Constitution ratified and approved on June ۲, ۱۹۶۷, by the Secretary of the Interior, action pursuant to the authority vested in him by Executive Order No. ۱۰۲۶۴, dated June ۲۹,۱۹۵۱, of the President of the United States, and approved by the Constitutional Convention of the people of American Samoa at its meeting in Fagatogo, American Samoa begun on September ۲۶, ۱۹۶۶, and by a majority of the voters of Ameri­can Samoa voting in the general election in ۱۹۶۶, shall become effective on July ۱, ۱۹۶۷.


Ratified and Approved

Subject to the deletion from Article I, section ۲ of all after the title and the insertion in lieu thereof of the text of Article ۱, section ۲ of the Constitution of American Samoa effective October ۱۷, ۱۹۶۰, to wit: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation



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